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Upgrade fittings in linear fluorescents

Ease
3
Impact
5

If your building has twin T8 linear fluorescent tubes then you have two options when upgrading these light fittings:

  • Upgrade to a light fitting where two T5 tubes can be used
  • Upgrade to a high performance reflector fitting and use single T5 tube

The recommended action is upgrade to a high performance reflector fitting and install a single T5 linear fluorescent tube. This provides the greatest energy savings.

By replacing two 36 Watt T8 tubes with a single 28 Watt T5 tube you can improve energy efficiency by as much as 67 per cent.

If your underground car park has dozens of twin linear tubes then it’s easy to see how much energy can be saved, especially if they are controlled by motion sensors and only turn on when a car or person enters the area. Think about installing motion sensors at the same time. 

Not only do T5 tubes use less power than T8 tubes but the electronic control equipment also prevents flicker and improves lamp life.

Upgrade to a high performance louvre fitting and install a single T5 tube 

A single T5 tube in a high performance louvre fitting provides increased reflection of light. This provides a light output similar to that of twin T8 tubes. Although these fittings are more expensive, this option gives you a 67 per cent energy saving.

Cost breakdown:

  • Tube cost of $3-5
  • Plus new fitting of $200
  • Installation cost of $85 The simple payback period from energy savings is between 1–3 years.

The longer lifespan of these tubes will deliver further savings because they will not need to be replaced as often.

Upgrade light fitting and install two T5 tubes and an electronic ballast 

This option gives you a 30 - 40 per cent energy saving

Cost breakdown:

  • Tube cost $6-8 a pair
  • Plus new fitting of $200
  • Installation cost of $85 The simple payback from energy savings is between 3 - 5 years

Tips 

  • If you change from a T8 to a T5 you have to install an electronic ballast, however this comes as part of the fitting so it is not an extra task to be undertaken
  • Electronic ballasts are more expensive to buy, but are more energy efficient, start the lamp more quickly, produce less flicker and make the lamp last longer
  • Use a professional electrician to replace the light fittings and to confirm that adequate light levels will be maintained
  • Remember to include the cost of new fittings, new tubes, and installation labour in your quotes and business case